Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism
First published in 1869, this remarkable early work of comparative mythology intended for the general public takes great pains to remind the reader that there is no danger of suddenly finding oneself transformed into a Buddhist or a "Mahometan" merely by allowing one's eyes to alight upon symbols of a non-Protestant faith. It also feels the need to introduce the reader to the idea of religious "arcana," that some concepts were once deemed fit only for select and secret ears, and then proceeds to cheerfully reveal some of those secrets, such as the phallicism of church steeples and spires.With the assistance of numerous charming illustrations, Inman introduces his 19th-century readers to the metaphorical links between Christianity and the civilizations of the ancient world-India, Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, and others-from shared abstract figures of stars and crosses to nature symbology (fish, trees) to particular arrangements of the human figures in religious portraits that cross cultures. But it is the author's enchanting handholding that makes this work so appealing today: it speaks to a new enthusiasm among the public for an approach to religion-and religion as mythology-that is rational, logical, and beginning to approach the modern.British doctor and mythologist (1820-1876) is also the author of Ancient Faiths Embodied in Ancient Names as well as several books on hygiene.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - PointedPundit - LibraryThing
Thoughtful minds have long seized upon the idea of an unseen power. Using fascinating ancient illustrations, Thomas Inman gently nudges his readers to the possibility of a wider meaning for many of ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
adopted adoration amongst Ancient Faiths androgyne appears Asher Asherah Ashtoreth Assyrian Assyrian grove Astarte Baal believe Buddhist Ceres Christian churches circle coin common cone copied from Lajard creation Creator crescent moon cross crux amata deity depicted divine earth Egyptian emblematic Etruscan feminine Figaro Figure fish Gnostics goddess Greek hand head heaven Hebrew Hindoo Hindostan holy idea India indicate Ishtar Isis Jehovah Jews Kings linga Mahadeva male and female male emblem male triad Maltese cross masculine modern Moor's Hindu mother mystic mythology Oannes ornament Osiris oval pagan pallium palm-tree Pantheon Parvati phallus Phoenician pillar plate Priapus priests Pugin Qemme recognised religion religious remarkable represents resembling Roman sacred Sacti sculptures second edition seen serpent sexes sexual shape signification similar sistrum Siva solar stone sun and moon supposed symbolised temple tortoise tree triad triangle union Venus vesica piscis virgin whilst woman word worship yoni
Page xiii - Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them...